How Interviewing A Major Celebrity Changed My Business Forever

It was 9 AM on a Tuesday morning. Coffee in hand, I started my work day, checking my website’s email to see what sort of letters I get today. As usual, the majority of it is spam. “Your PayPal account has been limited”. “My husband died, and I’d like to transfer $3,999,999 to your bank account.” Sound familiar? 🙂

I click over to the final email in my inbox, when my eyes shoot wide open.

“Hello James! I’m a publicist on NBC’s upcoming show “The Million Second Quiz.” She then continues to discuss a little bit about the show.

“Given iOS Universe’s emphasis on new apps and iOS technology, we would love to work with you on spreading the word about this exciting first for network television. Would you be interested in conducting an interview with “MSQ”‘s executive producer, Eli Holzman? He can talk about “Million Second Quiz” and its revolutionary format.” (For privacy reasons, I’m changing the emails around a little bit, but they are very similar to what’s written here.)

What? WHAT? Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. I had figured this had to be a fake letter. My blog is only receiving a few thousand visits a day, and NBC, a major television network are contacting me for business related activities? Is this real?

Despite the fact that their email was from NBC’s domain, I was skeptical. I asked my close friends what they thought about this. They were also skeptical. I found the LinkedIn profile for the person who was emailing me, and sure enough, everything matched up.

Nervously, I responded saying that I would be interested in the opportunity. We talked a bit about what the focal point of the interview would be, and who I would be talking to. Then we scheduled a date and time. Friday, 1 PM.

“You’ll be speaking with Eli Holzman, one of the executive producers of the show, along with Michael Martin from the NBC Digital team who was instrumental in developing the app. Eli’s bio is attached. I can set up a conference line so that you can all chat.”

The day came quicker than I thought. Here I am, a 17-year old high school student about to conduct a HUGE interview. I was nervous, shaking almost. Strangely, I get nervy talking on the phone to people I know, let alone a group of major celebrities!

I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into as I called in.

“Hello?”

“Hey, are you James McAllister?”

“Yes I am.”

“Great. Mr. Holzman is running late, he’ll be with us in a few moments.”

Oh great, I thought to myself. What was I supposed to do in the mean time? Was I supposed to talk? Remain silent? My heart was thumping.

Thankfully, the wait wasn’t too long. Within a few minutes, Eli Holzman entered the conference call. One of the other members answered,

“Hello Mr. Holzman? Mr. McAllister from iOS Universe is here with us for the interview.” The entire time, they treated me like was the celebrity.

“Great, let’s get started.”

Nervously, I began asking questions, notepad in front of me. You could tell I was very nervous. Fortunately, they were very laid back with their answers, telling stories and jokes as the interview went on. As I ran out of questions, I asked them if there was anything else they’d ask me to include in the article. I just wanted it to be over. The entire thing lasted about 15 minutes, but it felt like hounvrs. When it was over, we thanked each other and hung up.

I had done it. I had just interviewed a major television producer, and several of the world’s top application developers. It was the scariest thing I had ever done, but I did it.

I quickly and carefully wrote up an article. Then I edited it about 10 times. I wanted it to be perfect, but I wanted it released in a timely manner. Despite how scary it was, I wanted to get more opportunities like this, because it felt great.

After about an hour and a half, the article was published. It was the best thing to ever happen to my website.

Why?

I added myself to the Wikipedia page along with some more information about the show. At the time, I was one of the first references on the page. I quickly began ranking very highly for several of the show’s main keywords. My website had exclusive information, that wasn’t published anywhere else. As a result, I got a TON of backlinks, and my traffic nearly doubled.

On top of that, every time a commercial ran for the show (which became increasingly frequent as it got closer to the release date) I’d see a huge surge of traffic. I remember a commercial coming on once while I was working at my computer. Curiously, I checked Google Analytics to see hundreds of people beginning to read my article. This continued throughout the time the show was aired. I made a ton of money during that period, and all the extra backlinks kept my site ranking higher than ever before.

It wasn’t long after that I started receiving invitations for sponsored posts paying several hundreds of dollars or more. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any huge opportunities like that since, but I know they will only become more and more frequent as my websites grow.

I consider this the highest point in my business so far, and couldn’t think of one single event that has done for my business and me personally than that one. Take advantage of every opportunity you can, because you never know how beneficial they could be for you.

And if you want to see the article, check it out here. 🙂

Have you ever had any opportunities like this one? How did they go for you? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

LEARN HOW TO TRIPLE YOUR WEBSITE TRAFFIC IN 7 DAYS!

About James McAllister

James is the owner of Help Start My Site. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. Here on HelpStartMySite.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, like him on Facebook .

Comments

  1. Hey James,

    This is my first visit to your blog and I am glad I did come here. I took some time to read your post and all I was seeing is a guy with potential to reach heights soon than expected.

    When we preach about providing value and solution based content, some people don’t really understand or key into it. You were able to get this huge opportunity because you provided not just quality but value added content.

    Now it doesn’t matter how old your blog is these days, it’s a case that was used in the time past to determine a blogger’s worth. Today, the game has changed, you can be picked up to write or blog for a big brand even your blog is not yet popular. People take time to check out what you offer, and if what you offer is meaty, then you will always be hired for a job.

    Keep adding value and fueling the passion you have for what you do and yourself rise further in the blogosphere!

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post James!

      (Quote)
    Jackson Nwachukwu recently posted…Why do Most Bloggers Fail to do this One Thing? Even the Pros!My Profile

    • Hey Jackson, good to see you.

      I think you’re absolutely right. There’s a lot of good blogs that don’t get the attention they deserve. Looking back on it, I can see why they chose my blog for such a big topic – I was updating it daily and providing tons of value. The audience I did have was very loyal and targeted – which was exactly what they were aiming for.

      I guess it’s not all about the numbers, right?

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you around again in the future!

        (Quote)

  2. Hi James,

    You have dona great job.;)

    You know we all get nervous while talking to someone famous. Its normal. In my starting days I couldn’t even talk to my clients. But with the passing of time we all learn.

    Congrats James for interviewing a successful person. Its great to see your efforts. The page of Wikipedia you have linked here is really good. I have seen it.

    Keep it up.:)

    Have a successful week ahead.:)

    ~Ravi

      (Quote)
    Ravi Chahar recently posted…What Are Crawl Errors And How To Remove Them Using GWT?My Profile

    • Hey Ravi, good to see you again.

      I suppose nervousness is something we can really easily grow out of. Now that I think back to my childhood, this makes sense. I had severe social anxiety when I was young – it wasn’t actually until I was thrown into the middle of a school play where I was able to overcome the fear of public speaking. I suppose the same thing can happen with interviewing, right?

      The next time I get an opportunity like this, I know I’ll feel a lot more confident!

        (Quote)

  3. Hi James,

    I love this story and it is encouraging to hear that out of the blue you got picked up in that way. It is weird how random the internet can be sometimes but you’ve got to love it. I think that you cranked a good mileage out of the extra exposure that you were able to obtain and it was a great move putting the link on Wikipedia. I hope that you get another crack at the big time but at least you won’t be as nervous the second time around. And yes, it is entirely coincidental that the second person commenting on your blog post has the first name of Jackson. 🙂

    Keep on trucking!

      (Quote)
    Jackson Davies recently posted…End of Month Traffic Report September 2014My Profile

    • Hey Jackson, good to see you!

      I too wonder how the heck they ended up finding the site. I suppose it could happen to anyone. At the time, I was focusing really hard on making my website appear more popular than it was, writing multiple times a day and leveraging every social media opportunity I could. My strategy has changed now, and unfortunately I stopped working on my old iPhone site. Still, it taught me a lot of the stuff I now share here on Help Start My Site!

      Thank you for your encouragement, and I hope great opportunities arise for you as well!

        (Quote)

  4. Wait what? I stopped at the coffee part because you’re what? Bordering 18? Too early to get addicted to that! 😀

    Great story James. That looked fun! It’ll make things easier for you in your future interviews so you’ll be glad you did it. You wont even need your pad next time.

    It is funny how these networks find sites like ours. Normally, you are just at the right place at the right time when their intern used Google or Twitter LOL.

    Keep it up, next time, you’ll get even more opportunities and definitely better links than Wikipedia. 😀

      (Quote)
    Dennis recently posted…Is Google Authorship Still Important?My Profile

    • Haha yeah, at the time I was only 17 and it was a lot to take in, having no prior experience doing anything like that.

      It certainly was a fun experience despite all of the nervousness. I still can’t really believe that it happened. I’m just upset there isn’t going to be another season of the show so I can get all of that traffic again 🙁

      I was fortunate enough to get a ton of backlinks from a bunch of sites (mostly entertainment and other iPhone blogs) but strangely, the single biggest referrer (other than search engine traffic) was Wikipedia. I suppose a lot of people just wanted to figure out what the show was about.

        (Quote)
      James recently posted…Do Amazon Product Review Sites Still Work? My Profile

  5. Hello James,

    Opportunities like these are certainly life changing…personally, I’ve never had the privilege of conducting a mega interview of that magnitude – but I’ve sure done some bits here and there that have certainly counted – or will – in the very near future.

    Congratulations – you certainly have a very bright future as a blogger. By the time you’re 20, you may be billed to interview the President! Sit tight and seek to improve daily – the next bit will astound you – certainly!

    Be certain to make the day great!

    Always,
    Terungwa

      (Quote)
    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted…HILARIOUS MISTAKES WE ALL COMMIT WHEN STARTING OUT ONLINE (AND GREAT LESSONS FOR NEWBIES)My Profile

    • Hey Akaahan, thanks for visiting!

      The interview was certainly one of the biggest experiences of my lives, and I’m sure I’ll never forget it. Keep up the great work at NoToPoverty, and it won’t be long before you’re getting similar opportunities!

      Akaahan Terungwa:
      Congratulations – you certainly have a very bright future as a blogger. By the time you’re 20, you may be billed to interview the President! Sit tight and seek to improve daily – the next bit will astound you – certainly!

      Haha, thank you! I love the last quote you added. As long as we keep improving, even if its only bit by bit, we’ll eventually get to where we want to go.

      Thanks for visiting!

        (Quote)
      James recently posted…What Writing A Book Taught Me About BloggingMy Profile

  6. Hi James,

    This is the first time I’m on your blog and you just blew me away! Having that opportunity at age 17 is fantastic. I see you were blogging since you were 11 years old. Good for you!!! It must have been such a shock to receive that invitation, but the great thing is, although you were nervous..You Did It!

    When opportunities strike, we need to jump on them, no matter what age we are. How wonderful that you received so much attention to your blog! There is nothing better than to see someone reach success. This post will give your readers “hope” because you just never know where your blog will end up.

    Congratulations and I’ll see you on your next post!

    -Donna

      (Quote)
    donna merrill recently posted…Joint VenturesMy Profile

    • Hey Donna, thanks for visiting!

      You’re absolutely right, and my experience proves that this really could happen to anyone. If only I could’ve known how exactly NBC decided to choose my site.

      Although the nervousness was temporary, the regret I would’ve felt had I not taken advantage of the opportunity would’ve been much longer lasting.

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…Do Amazon Product Review Sites Still Work? My Profile

  7. Hey James,

    It was my 1st visit and your blog is very attractive. You had written an great post in beginning i get nervous in talking with anyone who is new to me but blogging helped me to change my attitude and helped me improving my communication skills.
    You can make your article more attractive my Adding some heading and sub-heading

    Thanks for sharing
    Regards
    Suprabhat

      (Quote)
    Suprabhat recently posted…Know How I got Alexa 90k with 36 Days Old blogMy Profile

  8. James, inspiring article I must say. And I know the feeling, that feeling of ‘will I be able.’ I am happy you were able to get it done alongside the awesome link you got from wikipedia.

    More success to you.

      (Quote)

    • Hey Peter, so sorry I missed replying to your comment!

      It’s a scary feeling, isn’t it? Fortunately, it tends to go away with experience. I first realized this in elementary school, actually!

      It was my fifth grade year and I was one of the most shy guys you’d meet. Didn’t talk to anybody. Then, one day I’m pulled to the side by my teacher – turns out that a guy got kicked out of that year’s school play for fighting, and the director wanted me to fill the role. Not just any role – one of the lead roles. Needless to say, I was shocked and scared, but reluctantly, I said yes.

      I ended up nailing it. Haven’t been shy since. I guess the old saying is true – the only thing to fear is fear itself!

      Thanks for visiting, Peter!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…If You’re Obsessing Over SEO, Stop! My Profile

  9. Hey James,

    Now that is just way too cool and I can only imagine how darn excited you were. I would be too and now that you’ve had this experience then you know what benefits this can being for others. I have no doubt you’ll have plenty more opportunities in the future. Either way you have this under your belt and a darn great bargaining chip right!

    I’m just going to add that I’m very impressed and happy for you. Hope other opportunities will present themselves to you in the new year.

    Thanks for sharing this and sorry for my late response. Still had to stop by and check out this post.

    Enjoy your week now.

    ~Adrienne

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    Adrienne recently posted…Rock It Like You Mean It: Walking The True Path To SuccessMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne, so great to see you!

      I still recall this experience as if it were just this morning and let me tell you, it was certainly one of the most interesting things to have ever happened to me. Occasionally I’ll hear people talking about one of the shows and it always leads to an interesting conversation when I let them know I interviewed the executive producer! It’s not something everyone can say…

      I really appreciate your encouraging words Adrienne. It’s always a pleasure seeing you here!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…How To Build A Successful Amazon Affiliate Site – The Ultimate GuideMy Profile

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